News – San Luis County Hearing 9/26/2023


After delays during the COVID pandemic, and several legal skirmishes between the parties, the NRWMAC lawsuit has reached a critical turning point. Over a year ago, the local San Luis Obispo County judge in charge of our lawsuit asked the California State Water Resource Control Board to opine about some technical issues that he felt unqualified to rule on.

This state report has been completed and submitted to the judge, and both NRWMAC and Monterey County have filed responses to the court. On September 26, 2023, the judge will consider the report at a court hearing in Paso Robles and decide how, or even if, to use the report information in the lawsuit as it goes forward.

The moment has arrived, folks! NRWMAC needs YOU to show up at this hearing. We want the judge to see that we have tremendous local support! To help us do that, we need respectful people who will be considerate of the judge and the legal process. We encourage you to wear your “Save the Dragon” t-shirt or hat, to show your support for NRWMAC and change at Lake Nacimiento. (In the courtroom, please remove hats.) Note: We DO NOT want belligerent people at this hearing.

Upcoming NRWMAC Lawsuit Hearing Information

Date: Tuesday. September 26, 2023

Time: 9:00 a.m. (Starts promptly, please come a bit early.)

Location: California Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles Branch

Address: 901 Park Street, Dept. #2, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Interlake Tunnel Update (EIR) Jan 2023

In-case you didn’t receive it, MCRWA sent out an email Jan 20th notifying “interested parties” that the Interlake Tunnel and Spillway projects Draft Environmental Impact report (EIR) has been released, and that the public review and comment period has started.

The Monterey County Email that was sent out is here.

This diagram from the EIR depicts the layout of the Interlake Tunnel.

Click the image for full size

Monterey County has setup a public review and comment period for the EIR, which will be open from Jan 20th 2023 through March 10 2023, with two public meetings to be held, as well as written comments during this period.

The two meetings will be:

February 1, 2023, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Bradley Elementary School,
65600 Dixie Street, Bradley, CA


Passcode = 714405; Meeting ID = 949 4949 0094; Phone = +1 669 900 6833 US


February 2, 2023, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Greenfield City Council Chambers,
599 El Camino Real, Greenfield, CA


Passcode = 185485; Meeting ID = 998 2316 1437; Phone = +1 669 900 6833 US


The Draft EIR and associated documents will be available on the MCWRA website here:

And these documents are also available on the NRWMAC website, at News about the MC Letter and also at the NRWMAC Knowledge Base:


Monterey County Dock Threat

As many of you already know, Monterey County has been sending out letters that state:

“…docks out of the water and below the ‘high water mark’ (800 ft) are still subject to Dock Fees, and that by July 2022 the Agency (Monterey County) will revoke dock licenses that are not renewed. Once revoked the dock owner will need to remove the dock from the reservoir.”

NRWMAC board member Steve Blois requested clarification of the MC dock policy at the Monterey ResOps meeting in March, and again in April, as the above statement from MC does not appear in either dock ordinance 4065 or 5344. Steve also stated that while NRWMAC agrees and supports the vast majority of MC’s dock program, NRWMAC does not agree with the MC position that Ordinance 4065 grants them the authority to collect dock fees on docks that are out of the water and below the high-water mark.

In-fact, Ordinance 4065, Section 4, paragraph (b), which talks about renewal licenses, specifically allows an exemption for “a previously registered dock… that has been left high and dry and is not refloated until after April 1”. If that language is not clear enough, the following sentence states “Renewal is not required during any year in which the dock remains out of the water for the entire licensing year.”

There is no mention of ‘high-water mark’ anywhere in the renewal section of the ordinance. Any reasonable reading of the above language can only be interpreted to allow the deferral of dock renewal fees if the dock is not floating for the entire licensing year.

NRWMAC has officially responded to Monterey County regarding this issue, and our response is posted here:

Both MC Dock Ordinance 4065 and amendment 5344 can be seen here:

More dock information can be found at the NRWMAC Knowledge Base here, under MCWRA Dock Fees:

NRWMAC vs Monterey County

NRWMAC continues litigation against Monterey County and the agencies that mismanage Lake Nacimiento and their continued push against the recreational rights on the lake and area.

A portion of the lawsuit has been referred to the State Water board to determine if Monterey County exceeded their yearly release quota, which NRWMAC asserts based on their published releases for at least one past year. Once that portion of the lawsuit is settled, the suit returns to the San Luis Obispo Superior court for the breach of contract portion of the lawsuit.

In April NRWMAC and attorneys attended the first referral proceeding which basically outlined how the proceedings will go forward with the State Water Board, getting all parties known and the initial discussions. More hearings are set for May and June and we shall provide all information we can as it becomes known.


We Need Your Support

Shortly, we will be back in court fighting the major battle with Monterey. It’s very costly to fund our hardworking legal team. Now more than ever, we need you to support NRWMAC’s efforts on your behalf. We urgently need an influx of dollar donations at this time.

The links below will take you directly to GoFundMe or PayPal Private Donation sites to conveniently make a donation. If you prefer to write a check, please make it out to NRWMAC and mail to: NRWMAC, PO BOX 398, Paso Robles, CA 93447


Private donations:

1The lawsuit can be viewed in its entirety here:

2A NRWMAC representative attends all the Monterey County Reservoir Operations Committee meetings (“RESOPS”) to ensure that its constituents’ voices are heard. (NRWMAC has a seat on the RESOPS board as a result of a prior lawsuit against Monterey County.) Members of the NRWMAC Board of Directors conduct outreach meetings and have participated in media interviews in order to apprise the public of developments concerning the lake. And it has filed lawsuits and complaints with state regulatory agencies to protect the lake and its constituents.]


Thank you for your continued support.


– Links to more documents and the NRWMAC Legal Actions can be found here : NRWMAC Knowledge Base

NRWMAC Go Fund Me LInk

Lake Nacimiento, known as “The Dragon” because of its distinctive shape, is in extreme peril and needs your help. Millions of gallons of water are being taken out of the lake each day by Monterey County and sent north, primarily for the benefit of its farmers in the Salinas Valley, but also to support a fish habitat and to sell on the open market for profit. This isn’t simply “Water Over The Dam,” it is the moral equivalent of draining the life’s blood of The Dragon. Left unchecked, this massive release of water will devastate the local economy in San Luis Obispo County, where the lake is actually located, by curtailing recreation, depressing property values and reducing business and tax revenues. Although the farmers in the Salinas Valley are entitled to a fair share of the water, they are not entitled to ALL of it. There is no way of even knowing just how much water the farmers are getting, since much of it goes underground where it cannot be measured. It is also impossible to determine how much water, if any, is being wasted since that also defies measurement. What is clear is that ever since the time it completed a “divisionary facility” in Salinas, Monterey County has steadily increased the water it releases over the dam on a daily basis.


Nacimiento Reservoir was originally designed and built by Monterey County for irrigation, flood control, groundwater recharge, and recreation. It was completed in 1957. Although the lake formed by the reservoir is entirely inside the geographical boundaries of San Luis Obispo County, the water is controlled by Monterey County under an operating license issued by the State of California. Over time, Monterey County has demonstrated that it does not care about the recreational aspect of its management of the lake, despite that component being of equal value to the others. Monterey County’s current attitude towards recreation at Lake Nacimiento borders on contempt.

The Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee (“NRWMAC”) was formed in the late1980’s to represent Lake Nacimiento property owners, visitors and enthusiasts in dealing with Monterey County’s management of this precious resource. During its tenure, NRWMAC has fought to maintain a consistent and appropriate water level of 748 feet above mean sea level (msl). At this level, during most years, there is enough water to satisfy the needs of the farmers, meet the California Department of Fish and Wildlife requirements for the fish habitat and concurrently sustain recreation throughout the peak summer months – at least through Labor Day of each year. For the most part, NRWMAC has been successful in its attempt to maintain a mutually acceptable lake level. Lately, however, Monterey County has been promulgating the notion that a lake level of 730 feet msl will sustain recreation. This is absolutely not true. At that level, launch ramps and docks along the lake become unusable, and previously submerged rocks, tree stumps and islands start surfacing, posing hazards to boating.

NRWMAC has tried to negotiate a reasonable compromise with Monterey County over the lake level. Monterey County, however, will not negotiate. NRWMAC drafted and circulated a petition demanding a reduction to the massive and unreasonable daily water releases. This petition garnered over 6,000 signatures, and was presented to Monterey County in May of this year. Monterey County dismissed the petition, labeling it “factually inaccurate,” although it failed to explain how it was inaccurate. NRWMAC Directors have been on radio and television, and in print media, appealing for restraint over the water releases, but these effort have had no effect: Monterey County continues to drain the lake at its sole and unbridled discretion. Finally, as a last resort, and responding to the entreaties of its constituents, NRWMAC has been forced to retain a law firm experienced in water rights, and a team of hydrologists, to seek a legal remedy to halt the excessive outflow of water.

NRWMAC has exhausted nearly its entire operating budget by subsidizing the legal fees to date and now it needs your help. NRWMAC has started a GoFundMe campaign to replenish the funds necessary to sustain its legal challenge. It is estimated that a minimum of $100,000.00 is required to continue forward and resolve this issue. Please contribute whatever you can to help NRWMAC Save the Dragon, and please share this GoFundMe link and web site to everyone on your mailing list.

Discreet donation is available by checking the “Hide name and comment..” check box on the GoFundMe form, or use the donate buttons on the NRWMAC.Donate page located here .

NRWMAC is a non-profit organization. Because of the way it is structured, donations made to it, or to the legal fund it is sponsoring, are not tax deductible to the donor. For more information on NRWMAC, how it supports Lake Nacimiento, and to join its growing list of supporters.

What is NRWMAC?

The Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee (NRWMAC) represents property owners, visitors and enthusiasts of all sorts that enjoy Lake Nacimiento. Our goal is to maximize the water level in Lake Nacimiento throughout the summer. Res Ops Meetings and NRWMAC’s Board meetings are the last Thursday of the month.

NRWMACs primary goals for lake Nacimiento water management

Maximize water levels up to the ideal level 790 ft., which stores more water for recreation & agriculture.

Maintenance of constant lake levels from May 1 through September 30 to enhance recreation activities and fish habitat.

Maintain year-to-year elevations through prudent management of transfers and releases.

If the tunnel is built, utilize transferred water from Nacimiento, being stored in San Antonio, prior to releasing water from Nacimiento.

What does NRWMAC do for you?

NRWMAC stands up for you at all of the Lake-related meetings held in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. There is constant pressure from Monterey County for more water. The meetings we attend occur monthly in Salinas but in between are many other technical and operational meetings and seminars that require our presence

NRWMAC saw early on that the Quagga Mussel could be the end of our beautiful lake. We visited contaminated lakes as far away as Lake Mead to see the damage done. We, in conjunction with SLO County, and Monterey County, created a plan and we train all inspectors for all boats entering our lake. Our plan is updated yearly and the training is on -going. This alone is nearly a full time (unpaid) job.

NRWMAC has brought back the idea of a pipeline between Nacimiento and San Antonio, as another way to manage the amount of water stored. This idea has been taken up by Monterey County, who has designed their own version, …much different from NRWMAC’s vision. Their version may not benefit Lake Nacimiento owners and enthusiasts. This promises to be an expensive process and a lengthy series of meetings and we will need your help.

NRWMAC supports the rights of all of the property owners and recreational enthusiasts. At Lake Nacimiento.

Current Projects



    • Make sure your vessel is Clean, Drained, and Dry.
    • Make sure you have a current Vessel Screening Permit, or a Resident Vessel Sticker and Resident Vessel Certificate.
    • If you are on the lake without a Vessel Screening Permit or a Resident Vessel Sticker and Certificate you are subject to a $2000 fine.
  • Repeated violation of the above may result in your launch ramp being closed.


Maximizing water levels for Property Owners, Visitors, and Water Enthusiasts

The Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee (NRWMAC) represents property owners, visitors and enthusiasts of all sorts that enjoy Lake Nacimiento. Our goal is to maximize the water level in Lake Nacimiento throughout the summer.


Interlake Tunnel

What is an Interlake Tunnel and What Does it Mean for You?

Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) is proposing building a tunnel to divert water from Lake Nacimiento into Lake San Antonio. The Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee (NRWMAC) is concerned how the tunnel might affect Lake Nacimiento lake levels, recreation activities, property values, and water availability.


Health and Safety

Mercury Levels

The SLO County Health Dept. warns fishermen to be careful of what they eat.

Fire Safety

The greatest threat to private property and recreational facilities is a fire.

Lake Patrol

Over the last two years the Lake Ranger staff has been drastically reduced.


Lake Nacimiento Web Cams

Lake Nacimiento Web Cams

For different live views from around the lake, have a look at a few of our web cams.

Lake Nacimiento Web Cams


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